Lunchtime presentation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) facilitated by the Treasury Department. The newly formed FSA ran through its remit in terms of oversight, regulation and also policing. Some interesting statistics, we have around 30,000 companies registered on the island, whilst financial services have shrunk as part of our GDP they still form a substantial part.

Early afternoon I facilitated a meeting between Joe Stead from Christian Aid UK (he is their Tax Advisor), who had come to the island for a day to meet our Treasury Department and in particular our Treasury Minister and Economic Development Minister. It was a positive meeting and an opportunity to talk about the ‘good stuff’ that the Isle of Man has done over the last few years. We are now one of the best offshore jurisdictions in terms of transparency and Mr Stead did acknowledge this. I still get the feeling however that bad governance and corruption in many countries is blamed on offshore facilitation. Mr Stead did emphasis that many of the charities and government agencies should and are addressing this at the root, providing assistance for better regulation and and in some countries proper land titles, a legal system that works and anti corruption – all things that we take as basic. Whilst it is estimated around 30% of Sub-Saharan African Capital is offshore I suspect this is not all because of corruption but simply safe guarding in some cases. If I lived in a country with an unstable financial system and even worse political system I too would want to make sure that I had access to hard currency – just a thought.

Late afternoon saw us taking further evidence via telephone link for our SAPRC Committee investigation into Children’s Social Services.